Ho, ho, ho for HVO – will it be a warm Christmas?

by Mars
Hydrotreated vegetable oil

As everyone that follows our blog and YouTube channel knows, we are big advocates and supporters of heat pumps, but we are also firm believers that homeowners should have options when it comes to sustainable ways of heating their homes. We were approached by OFTEC earlier this year to see if we’d interested in participating in a new trial for a sustainable biofuel called HVO (hydro treated vegetable oil) – we were intrigued and accepted the offer.

With electricity tariffs skyrocketing we have configured our oil boiler (now running with HVO) to work with our air source heat pump. In this video we discuss how we set things up and what the benefits of HVO are. Please leave a comment with your thoughts or questions below.

As mentioned in the video you can write to your MP about HVO and we have attached a template for your reference that you can modify to match your requirements.

To find out more about about HVO you can visit this website.

7 comments

Steffan 25 December 2021 - 12:45

Merry Christmas!
People have known that you can use vegetable oil instead of diesel for ages. I thought the problem was that there isn’t enough vegetable oil to go around if we use it for heating (let alone in combustion cars!).

This seems to be a plaster over your heat pump problem…

Reply
Mars 25 December 2021 - 12:56

Merry Christmas to you too Steffan. HVO looks like it might become mainstream and by some accounts there’s enough to get about 20% of homes in the UK off kerosene.

Reply
Steffan Cook 28 December 2021 - 10:30

Sources on that 20% number? I might be out of date but I thought the general economics picture is that kerosene equivalents will be all used up to use as jet-fuel (and airlines are willing to pay a much higher price for it.)

Reply
Gary Hardman 25 December 2021 - 15:48

I sympathize with your problem and yet I agree with Steffan. You are just replacing one carbon fuel with another. This would be like using dried cow dung in your wood burner. Yes, it would work and probably cost you less. But it does not eliminate carbon burning. It just changes the carbon source.

The problem is how much kilowatts of heat your house is losing due to poor insulation. What you are doing is changing the source of kilowatts when you should focus on reducing the kilowatts that your house uses.

Investing ONCE in a large amount of insulation will reduce your home’s kilowatt heat loss and your heating and cooling costs forever.

You might like this UK website for this purpose. https://www.eco-home-essentials.co.uk/eco_home.html

As to your heatpump, you’ve made some very good improvements. You modified your original approach of using your original old radiators by upgrading several to higher output radiators. You’ve compensated for your old smaller hot water pipes by upgrading your hot water pump to increase the flow rate in the pipes. Most importantly you had your installers come back and do a very through flow and heat analysis of the system they installed.

Now you are fighting the monthly/yearly cost of energy.
The only perminent solution is to reduce your energy usage.

Reply
ANTONIO MARIO STANGO 26 December 2021 - 14:38

Hi Mars.
what are the benefits of HVO over Kerosene.

Reply
Dean Baker 27 December 2021 - 18:24

I have to agree with Gary. Going green is not about economics – it’s about the future of those who will come after us. Reducing energy usage is the only answer. Of course, insulation, but get used to rooms at lower temperatures. Square meters of housing needs to come down, as well. If people are unwilling to do this, we’re fighting a loosing battle.

Reply
ken B 1 January 2022 - 14:02

How did you get to setting the swap over temp of 8C

I would have more respect if you turned down the temp and worn some warm clothes. 1C change equals 10% heat demand, but a reduction would also improve your COP

Clearly your presentation shows you know what is wrong with this idea. Forgetting CO2 and particulates etc.

In my opinion this gets us know where. Insulate,insulate,insulate.

Reply

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